Math and Reading Scores decrease exponentially


Alina Fairlie, Digital Editor

Since the pandemic, students across the country have experienced a decrease in testing scores, showing the true impact of virtual learning. The most significant decline has been demonstrated in math scores, but they were also apparent in reading. The pandemic has devastated all areas of society, but this shows how child development has been significantly hurt.  

The National Assessment of Education Progress, also known as the nation’s report card, has shown the most significant decline in math results, dating back to the early 1990s. Every state has seen a decrease in test scores since the pandemic began, with only 28% of 8th graders scoring proficient. Moreover, 8th graders have the worst results with test scores, with scores looking very similar to those from 1992.

Hearing this news should be jarring to many people. It clearly shows how negatively the pandemic has affected our youth and how additional reworking may be necessary. If scores across the country decrease, it should signify that a change in our education system is required. At-home learning could have been more effective, but the grades shown were unacceptable. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona says they need to utilize recovery money given by Congress. So far, $123 billion dollars have been approved for education. 

Schools are now fully open, so school districts need to focus on reworking in-person learning. Covid hit many kids at the height of their development, stunting emotional and intellectual growth. Younger children missed essential life lessons and were thrown back into a learning environment without the necessary skills to succeed. Education reform should be a top priority in our country.

Many parents are outraged by this, claiming they cannot trust schools to teach their children properly. National Parents Union co-founder and president Karl Rodrigues says, “We need transparency and accountability. We need to be a part of the conversation.” The American Rescue Plan requires that 20% of state aid go towards students’ learning losses, but parents are still skeptical. It is hard to tell if more money is really what children need for pandemic relief. 

 Other studies have also shown a rise in classroom violence, disruption, bullying, absences, and more, giving reason to believe the scores might not just be an issue with the pandemic. The past few years have been extremely challenging for everyone, especially educators and students. Good behavior and learning have decreased in many areas. Yet overall, this is a sign that we need to start putting more effort into reforming our education system.